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Legislature to rewrite laws on elder abuse

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

Knox County District Attorney General Charme Allen can’t discuss open cases, but in the two years since she took office, she has become convinced that existing state law is too antiquated to deal with the growing problem of elder abuse.

“Laws (addressing elder abuse) have always been on the books, but it’s not clearly defined. There’s the Criminal Code and the Adult Protective Services section, and we haven’t been able to rely on criminal laws. Last year, laws went on the books but there was still no comprehensive rewrite under the criminal code. New types of crimes are being committed – exploitation and financial crimes,” Allen said.

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Hart’s departure could bring back Lady Vols

Victor Ashe
Government/Politics columnist

With Dave Hart’s retirement, which will be greeted with applause by Lady Vols fans, it is time to restore the name as a lasting tribute to Pat Summitt.

Hart’s contract amendment will give him a buy-out of over $600,000; the public will want to know if he receives any other retirement benefits from the state or university.

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Staples to Dems: ‘They’re coming after us’

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

A couple of points about Rick Staples getting the nod to replace ousted incumbent Joe Armstrong on the ballot in the 15th state House race:

The entire Knox County Democratic Party can’t fit into a phone booth (even if they could find a phone booth nowadays). Fifty people crammed into a very small room to witness the vote for Armstrong’s replacement. A couple dozen more were denied entry by the cop at the door.

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Why the school board changed

Sandra is giving over her space this week to Lauren Hopson, president of the Knox County Education Association

Seven of our nine Knox County school board members (come Sept. 1) have education backgrounds – a feat rarely, if ever, seen in an urban school district. Yet many in the local media still have no clue what just happened or why.

Comments are frequently made that the elections were all about getting rid of Superintendent Jim McIntyre, and now that he has left office, there is nothing left for teachers to organize around.
Wrong. Dead Wrong.

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Andy Black retires with unfinished business

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

Some 150 dignitaries, employees and friends of Andy Black showed up last week to stand in a sunbaked parking lot and listen to a series of speeches praising his accomplishments at a ceremony dedicating the main building of the Helen Ross McNabb Center to the agency’s former CEO. Black retired in 2014 and has been serving as a consultant while phasing himself out for the past two years.

Black sported a big smile and a red rose on his lapel, and he deflected the credit for his accomplishments by thanking his colleagues and supporters.

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It’s back to the fightin’ 18th

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

If there’s such a thing as too much publicity, Republican state Rep. Martin Daniel might be the poster child for the proposition.

Meanwhile, his Democratic opponent, Brandi Price – who was unopposed in the primary and will go up against Daniel for the District 18 House seat in the November general election – has been feeling ignored.

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